Blog · Jesus

do you see me?

Chemo Grad day

Around this time last year, we were here: chemo graduation day. 

My Dad had been given the best news possible – he’d been misdiagnosed! The leukemia he was suffering from was a much less aggressive or rare type than the PLL he’d originally been given. I received the call from him while at work.

Kris, are you coming to chemo today?” (He’d had chemo for 3-4 days per week and I went at least half that time, working remotely from his room.)

Not today, Dad. Remember? I have meetings at the office. I’ll be there tomorrow for sure though.

Well… you’d better hurry over here today.” (Pause, smile in the voice…) “Because it’s my last round of chemo. They’re graduating me today!

My answer, smiling all the time: “I’ll be right there.”

Once I hung up that phone, I was outta the office and skipping to the car. I remember the “happy”. After months of a terrible cancer diagnosis (and the average 5-7 month life expectancy) hanging over us, I welcomed the old friend back into my heart.  As I drove through town, I remembered things I hadn’t noticed in a while. Laughter came back. I recalled what a smile felt like when it curls at the corner of your lips. And I noticed the sunshine, even turned on upbeat tunes on the radio. The threat of cancer, pain, grief, the unknown, even death… They couldn’t hold us anymore. I drove along with these things as new, welcome companions. I made it with enough time to sit through his last chemo treatment and celebrate as the nurses came in with smiles, all happy when a patient doesn’t come back to their chemo center because it’s for a good reason.

We snapped the photo you see here. Smiles: genuine, long-lost in a way. They came back. I hugged my Dad’s arm and said: “You make me proud. You did it, Dad, and you never complained.

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Flash forward to October.

Cancer came back and the misdiagnosis went out the window. Once again, we faced the aggressive and rare PLL leukemia. We were staring the unknown in the face again, only this time, it was from a hospital room. And though I could never say we were happy, we were greeted by many other things. As I sat by my Dad’s hospital bed, I read passages in Joshua (1:9, for courage), passages in Romans (ch. 8, for encouragement) and John (ch. 13-14, for hope), and focused time studying the book of Matthew (we desperately needed Jesus).

Romans Ch. 8

Seconds ticked by on the clock on the wall. I sat by his ICU bed. We were alone. The monitors beeped behind him. It was the middle of the night. Hushed. Quiet. Nurses passed by the door behind us. And I sat, feeling like a little girl again, holding his giant hand in mine. Reading those scriptures aloud so he’d known I was there. Squeezing his fingertips. Whispering, “You make me proud. You’re going to heaven and you never complained. I will never forget how proud I am of you in this moment.”

This post is very personal, I know. It’s got a bit of a heart-sting to it and it might be hard for some to read. But I wanted to be real with you. This time of year is rough for our family, as we’re reflecting on one year since we’ve lost the everyday-fellowship of someone we dearly love. He’s in heaven; this I know. And we’re not yet to our home; this I know as well. But what I also know, what I wanted to share with you today, is that “happy” does eventually come back. Happy is fickle, but it’s not gone for good. It’s based on our circumstances and when those change, we can find a smile again. But joy? True joy, though we walk a sometimes painful road… that comes from Jesus and Jesus alone. I had joy in that ICU room. I had joy while I cried tears of grief. I still had joy buried in my heart as we stood by a graveside. And I have joy to this day because of Him.

Writing a book is an amazing journey. It’s everything I thought it would be and more. I don’t take the joy of it lightly. It’s been my dream, the dream of our family, and the dream my Dad had for me for the last many years. But more than that, at a depth of the heart that goes to those vulnerable places we’re usually reluctant to share with others, I must tell you that…

He sees.

He knows.

He understands.

Whatever you’re going through today, whether you have “happy” or not – He knows and He cares. He offers healing. Peace. Hope. Joy when you’re tapped-out and a smile when you’re someday ready for it again. And I hope our journey from a year ago can help you share yours. I’d love to be real with each other. I’ll be the first to tell you that I don’t have it all figured out. I assure you – I’m just a girl who loves Jesus and who truly misses her Daddy.

Whatever your story, I hope you feel safe to share it. We don’t have to ask the question anymore. Look up in the toughest moments and you’ll find the same answer we did – He sees.

With Joy,

Kristy Initials

 

22 thoughts on “do you see me?

    1. Lis Ann ~ I just returned from the ACFW annual conference, so please forgive the late reply! ; ) I am so sorry you also lost your Daddy. Praying we both are able to feel the love of our Heavenly Father healing those hurts places in our hearts.

      P.S. THANK YOU for the review. I read it will at ACFW and was just so blessed. I nudged a couple of author friends and said – “Read this!” ; )

  1. Oh, Kristy – such a touching post!!

    My heart aches for you and your family – how would ANY of us make it without the joy, encouragement, peace, strength, and comfort from Jesus?? My parents and aunt are 89 to 93 years old, all have serious health issues – He is what gets me through each day now, and will continue to – when life further intervenes. You are so right when you say that He, alone, brings true joy – even during our pain!!

    Love, hugs, and prayers for you and your writing always, and for your family – at this difficult time also!!

    Shared post!!

    1. Bonnie ~ You and I are local to each other. If/when you need a friend, you know where I am. Praise Jesus for bringing sisters into each other’s lives! Prayer support, encouragement, uplifting (even if just on social media)… these are things we can do for each other. Thanks ever so much for blessing others like you do.

  2. A beautiful post and I can’t help but wipe a tear from my eye. 17 years ago, God called my husband, friend and soul mate home after 31 years of marriage. He had a brain tumor and we went through 3 surgeries and other treatment but were unable to stop its progress. But I can still say “I know who I have believed, and He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” God was with us every step of the journey and He has been with me every step since. Life is different that what I had pictured it would be, but it is still good and I have a lot to be thankful for.

    Thanks for sharing your heart.

    Ann Ellison
    abilene_nana@yahoo.com

    1. Sweet Ann – I get to chat with you on my Facebook page and now here. I had no idea that anyone else could understand what we’re going through until I posted this. Now I see how many of us “walking wounded” there truly are – for so many reasons. I think my Mom would understand what you’ve been through more than I would. Praying your heart is continually uplifted and encouraged today. My husband always says, “Remember, Honey — they’re just at our other house.” Isn’t that nice to know? Our home in heaven already has a Welcome mat out, ready for us to walk through the door. ; )

  3. Thank you Kristy for sharing your heart. It is a difficult thing to walk through the Home going of a parent. I was 38 when my late in life Pastor Dad when Home with his Jesus because of Cancer. Then 5 years later my Mom joined him as she lost her fight to ALS. Through those years of loss Jesus gave me strength and a joy that showed what a great Saviour He is to us. I am reminded of that old hymn that tells me “It is joy unspeakable and full of glory!!!! I love the verse that tells me ” I have found the joy no tongue can tell,
    How its waves of glory roll;
    It is like a great o’erflowing well,
    Springing up within my soul”. What a wonderful Saviour we have!! Unlike the world we don’t have rely on happiness which is transient but rather that joy that comes from Him……

  4. oh my, Kristy, what a tender and poignant post. You are so right, we all hurt and suffer, and yet His joy remains. Thank you for sharing this most personal moment.

    ~ Robin

  5. I truly know about your feelings. It’s been 26 years since I lost my mother to heart disease and her final days were rough. It’s been 12 years since I lost my dad to brain cancer and I miss him so much. I am an only so I had to lean closely on God. There were friends and some family but mostly I had God. I so understand the pain and yes it lessens but something will come up and I really wish I could tell my mother or dad something and I can’t. I hope they know about things but then, they are too busy with Jesus so I guess it doesn’t matter. He understands and that does matter. It is good to be honest and share with friends.

    1. Yes! I think it’s okay to be vulnerable. That’s real. It’s authentic and true, even in a social media space. I am so sorry for your loss too. The years can go by, but I’m finding that it doesn’t make the missing go away. Joy can replace hurt with healing, but missing will be there until we go home, won’t it? Holding you in prayer, dear one.

      1. You are quite right Kristy. The missing goes on. I’ve lost several friends too and there are days I just want to see and talk with them. Will hold you in prayer too. Thanks for the prayer, I can use all I can get.

    1. I had no idea it would encourage anyone, so that’s just an extra blessing today. I think I needed to say it, you know? Working through the view of joy from where I sit is a daily process. So glad we can encourage each other.

  6. From across the miles, feel my squeezing your hand, giving you a smile, a wink! I always appreciate your truth, your honesty, your heart!!

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